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Green Arrow, Aquaman and Superman - Just Us League of Stupid Heroes
DC Direct

Just Us League of Stupid Heroes series 1 action figures by DC Direct


Almost ten years ago (just a month or so shy in fact), DC Direct released their Alfred E Neuman as Superman and Batman figures. MAD wasn't too popular at the time, and it was largely a nostalgia thing for the adults that read the magazine as kids.

Fast forward a decade, and the new MAD television show is heating up on Cartoon Network. My son loves it, and I have to admit that they've done a terrific job of translating the irreverent sarcasm and parody of the print magazine into a very entertaining television show.

DC Direct saw a chance to put Alfred back out there again, and is releasing the original figures plus a few new ones over several series. At SDCC, they had a Batman and Robin two pack that was exclusive to the show AND to Toys R Us, and the first regular series is now shipping - Superman, Green Arrow and Aquaman.

These are running around $15 - $17 each depending on the retailer. The big shock there is that ten years ago you could end up paying $15 each for these as well! That price point is for the set of three though, and if you buy only one you can expect to pay closer to $20.


Click on the photo below for a life size version
Just Us League of Stupid Heroes series 1 action figures by DC Direct
Just Us League of Stupid Heroes series 1 action figures by DC Direct
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Just Us League of Stupid Heroes series 1 action figures by DC Direct
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Just Us League of Stupid Heroes series 1 action figures by DC Direct
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Just Us League of Stupid Heroes series 1 action figures by DC Direct
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Just Us League of Stupid Heroes series 1 action figures by DC Direct
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Just Us League of Stupid Heroes series 1 action figures by DC Direct
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Just Us League of Stupid Heroes series 1 action figures by DC Direct
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Just Us League of Stupid Heroes series 1 action figures by DC Direct
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Just Us League of Stupid Heroes series 1 action figures by DC Direct

Packaging - ***
I liked the old red packaging much better - it seemed much more like it was influenced by the Neuman side of the coin, and less by the superhero side. This time around, they are going more for the superhero side, and I'm not loving the new white dominated color scheme.

The bubble packaging isn't collector friendly of course, and there's too damn many twisties, but they do include a nice shot of the other figures in the series as well as the upcoming figures on the back.

Sculpting - ****
While these might all be Alfred E. Neuman, they aren't just the same sculpt with minor adjustments. The biggest difference is the hair of course, but the tilt of the head and the extras (like Green Arrow's mask and hat) make a huge difference.

I love the amount of detail in the hair and the sharp definition to the cartoony visage of Alfred. All three heads have key aspects of their respective superhero - Supes hair curl, Arrow's mask, and even a nose plug for Aquaman.

Supes costume is clearly the most basic, but the cloth cape works great, and there's enough detail on the shoes and belt to give him some pop.

Aquaman is on the opposite end, with his duck float around his waist, lobster bib around his neck, and inflatable floaties on his arms. Let's not forget the funky webbed feet!

While he gets the most obvious humorous details, don't overlook Green Arrow, who wears a golf bag for a quiver, complete with clubs, wrench and ... fish?

The hands are sculpted for the accessories, for the most part. Since Superman has none, his hands are both designed for the classic "What, me worry?" pose. Both hands on Green Arrow are in gloves, and either can hold the slingshot. Aquaman can hold the spear in his right - his left is in the expected open palm pose.

These guys stand about 6 1/4", although the style doesn't really fit in with most other DC Direct lines. I'm sure you can get creative with how you'll display them with your more stoic Batman and Superman figures.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint work is generally clean, with sharp cut lines and nice details. There's not a ton of small detail work, but what's here is well executed.

I'm particularly happy with the work on the eyes and hair. I like the slight shine to the eyes, and the hairline is very clean. These are often trouble spots, but they did a nice job this time around.

There's a few flubs though, including Aquaman's eyebrows that don't quite have all the yellow they should. Overall it's above average work, but if you have the chance to pick yours out on the peg at the local comic shop, pay particular attention to the paint so you can snag the best possible.

Articulation - ***
The articulation was a bit disappointing, perhaps due to the advances that we've seen in the last ten years that aren't reflected here.

The neck is a cut joint - no ball. That was a big disappointment, especially for a character as expressive as Alfred. It also means that the sculpted tilt that the Superman has is permanent.

The arm articulation is good - ball shoulders, cut biceps, pin elbows, cut wrists. The joints work well together for a wide range of poses.

The legs aren't as good, with T hips that don't do much, pin knees and cut ankles. There's no waist joint, and no cuts on the thighs.  You can use the joints for minor adjustments to keep the center of gravity in place, and that's about it.

Accessories - Aquaman ***; Green Arrow **1/2; Superman **
These poor guys are a tad light in this department. All three come with a small round black display stand, but there's no personalization to the line or character on them.

That's it for Superman, but Green Arrow gets a small slingshot. It fits in either hand pretty well, but isn't sculpted for a shooting pose. His hat or quiver are not removable, so don't go toward this category.

Aquaman does the best. Again, his bib, floaties and duck tube are not removable, making them inapplicable here. But he does come with a pitch fork-like trident, a small can of sardines, and a pair of tighty whities sculpted to hang off one of the trident's tangs. They all look terrific, even the small can. It was tough to tell what it was at first with the nekkid eye, but in the close up photo you can see there's quite a bit more sculpt detail than you'd expect.

Fun Factor - ***
Ten years ago, these weren't great 'toys', since there weren't too many kids at that point who had any idea who Alfred was. With the new TV show however, there's a much higher recognition amongst the pre-teen set. These are solid action figures with decent quality joints and plastic, making them appropriate for kids to play with or just display.

Value - **1/2
I was pretty shocked to see that these could run $15 back in 2001. Of course, you could also find them at some comic shops for $12, which was a bit more common back then, and it's also true that there's plenty of re-use from the old figures whenever possible. But it's a reminder that prices were already starting to rise even then.

I'm not jumping up and down at a $15 - $16 price point here, but I can certainly live with it considering the overall quality. Be careful though, because that price rises if you're only picking up one or two of the figures.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing for me!

Overall - ***1/2
I'm enjoying the silliness of these, and I think the sculpts and paints are very well done. Sure, better articulation and accessories would put them over the top, but I'm still good with these.

Wonder Woman is coming in series 2, and I can't help but think that he's...she's...whatever is going to end up in my Best of 2012 Female figure list.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ***
Accessories - Aquaman ***; Green Arrow **1/2; Superman **
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Urban Collector is at $19 each for the singles or $54 for the set.

- Entertainment Earth has the set for $50, and the singles for $19 - $20.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I covered the original Batman that DC Direct released ten years ago!

Discussion:
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Just Us League of Stupid Heroes series 1 action figures by DC Direct


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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